Twitter’s 140 character limit is here to stay

It’s now official that Twitter’s well known mandatory limit of 140 characters for each tweet isn’t about to change, but it’s highly likely that tweets may undergo certain changes in how people see and use them as part of their timeline.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s dynamic CEO, recently made some revealing press statements to coincide with the social media platform’s 10th anniversary and everyone immediately wanted to know if the rumours were true concerning changes to the 140 character limit on each tweet.

When Dorsey appeared on the Today Show, he took the opportunity to talk about the 140 character limit and was quite emphatic that it was going to stay. The reasons he gave were that having a character limit provided a useful constraint and kept expressions brief, relevant and very much part of the here and now. Dorsey went on to reveal, though, a little more of Twitter’s plans, saying that other changes were being considered and quantifying this remark by describing the changes as considerable in the quest to continuously improve Twitter for its millions of users. Although he stressed that the 140 character limit wasn’t going to be lifted, he didn’t go further to reveal any specific information about Twitter’s plans to take its service to a new level for the future.

So, we’ve now heard it straight from the man at the top that 140 character tweets are here to stay but, in reality, they were never destined to be axed in the first place. A plan was being considered to increase the tweet limit to a huge 10,000 characters but Twitter never intended to display these enormous tweets on the timelines of its users. The original plans centred around showing a mere snippet of larger tweets as a preview on users’ timelines, enabling readers to click through to reveal the full text if they wanted to see more. We can glean from Dorsey’s recent remarks that this plan might still be valid, signifying that tweets containing embeddable and/or expandable content are still a real and viable prospect but when this change might come about we’ve been given no idea.

For those who are wondering what their timeline will look like when they next log on to Twitter, we can categorically say that you won’t see individual tweets of more than 140 characters either now or at any point in the foreseeable future.


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